Treasury urged to release quarterly operational budgets

Source: Treasury urged to release quarterly operational budgets – NewsDay Zimbabwe

PARLIAMENT has called on the Finance ministry to release quarterly operational budgets to line ministries to enable them to operate efficiently.

Finance and Budget Portfolio Committee chairperson Mathew Nyashanu yesterday said late disbursements severely impacted operations of several ministries.

“Erratic releases impede the ability of ministries to achieve what they set out to achieve in their in contribution to the debate on the 2022 national budget recently presented by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube,” he said.

“The Treasury should adopt a system of quarterly releases of operational budgets after a ministry has satisfied all reporting and acquittal requirements beginning first quarter 2022. Where possible, capital releases should be once-off so as to preserve value for money and facilitate realisation of economies of scale.”

Nyashanu added that the Finance ministry should also periodically update Parliament on progress made in implementing the Auditor-General’s recommendations regarding fighting corruption and poor corporate governance.

“The Treasury should, beginning 2022, put in place mechanisms which will ensure observance of hard-budgetary constraints as contained in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and the 2021 and 2022 budget statements,” he said.

“There should be no room for additional resources outside the already approved resource envelope by Parliament in order to instil fiscal discipline and effective budgeting across multiple discriminant analysis.”

Nyashanu said the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority should be allowed to “retain 3% of the net revenue collected for its operations beginning 2022 fiscal year” to ensure that the authority is adequately capacitated to pursue revenue enhancement measures and plug leakages.

He added: “There is need to speed up enactment of a legal instrument to ensure accountability for the devolved funds such as the Provincial Councils and Administrative Amendment Bill which is expected to clearly define roles, responsibilities and parameters for the three tiers of government to avoid duplication of functions should be fast tracked and brought to Parliament by March 2022.”